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August 4, 2021

MIG 21 Lancer black box found

After night-long searches, investigators found the black box of the MIG 21 Lancer that crashed on Monday near Campia Turzii.

Investigators say it is too early for conclusions, but according to first data, there have been no notable events during the flight and, judging by the fall angle, the plane was flying at low speed.

The two dead pilots’ names were revealed later on Monday evening in a Defence Ministry’s press release. They were identified as Captain-Commander Laurentiu Chirita and Captain- Commander Sorin Avram, both 40, both husbands and fathers. According to sources with the ministry, quoted by Agerpes, both pilots were highly experienced, with over one thousand flight hours both in and out of the country, night or daytime. The pilots were both graduates of special US military flying courses and had particpated in numerous international drills. On Monday they were conducting a recognition flight in view of a joint US-Romanian drill in Campia Turzii Air Fleet 71 base.

A theory was circulated in the media on Monday evening, according to which the pilots did not propel themselves out of a falling aircraft because they tried to avoid crashing in the village. According to chief investigator Viorel Siserman, this is merely “speculation.” “No clear cut conclusion regarding this supposition can be brought until we check with all the remains of the crashed plane and the control tower recordings,” Siserman told Agerpres.

MoD banned all MIG 21 Lancer flights for the moment. A technical military investigation was launched concurrently with the local authorities’ enquiry, to establish the line of events that lead to the tragedy. Remem­brance ceremonies were held yesterday in military bases throughout the country. This is a new tragedy in a long line of air incidents involving military crafts occurring over the past decade in Romania. The most recent was on July 5, 2010 in Tuzla, when 12 people died and two other sustained serious injuries.

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